2010 Farmbook: Introduction

We all know that food tastes better when it’s prepared by someone who loves us, or when it recalls something treasured from the past—Dad’s Friday night roasted chicken, your neighbor’s homemade hot fudge or the tangy summer slaw that smells like the very essence of childhood beach weekends. This extends to other factors, too: An exquisite restaurant dish is improved by the environment, whether it’s a verdant patio under the spring sun or a space so shabby and unassuming that the contrast between culinary sensation and décor produces an unexpected burst of pleasure.

This is why eating locally is so powerful. Won’t a pizza taste better when it’s topped with cheese from cows who have names and graze freely, munching on grass throughout the warmer months? What about a salad topped with shredded beets that were handed to you by the very person who pulled them from the earth, still caked in rich, pesticide-free Pennsylvania soil? And that tomato from your garden—flush with colors you didn’t know were possible in nature, and born of a seed that was passed down through a local family—is it possible to serve it without a burst of warmth and pride? Reconnecting with agriculture imbues the process of cooking and eating with layer upon layer of joy and history. How can that not taste good?

Getting that message across is one of PASA’s main goals. These pages feature the personal stories of individual farmers, families and businesses, all PASA members, and all dedicated to enriching our local food web with healthy, wholesome and delicious options. Through that work, a community is created, and we hope their stories will encourage you to enlist—to strike up a conversation at your next local farmers’ market, to choose restaurants featuring farm fresh products, and to make an extra effort to buy from a sustainable farm. Just don’t forget to savor every bite.